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Scientists Create Bunnies that Glow in the Dark

By iDigitalTimes Staff Reporter on August 13, 2013 12:50 AM EDT 0

Scientists create glow in the dark bunnies (Photo: Reuters)

Scientists from Hawaii and Turkey have cloned eight rabbits using active transgenesis technique, which glow bright green in the dark. These rabbits will be used for developing medications for grave diseases.

The research was led by Dr. Stefan Moisyadi, a biogenesis researcher at the University of Hawaii located in Manoa. It was an international collaboration with the Marmara University and University of Istanbul.

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"These rabbits are like a light bulb glowing, like an LED light all over their body," Moisyadi told Khon2. "And on top of it, their fur is beginning to grow and the greenness is shining right through their fur. It's so intense."

These rabbits look white in normal light, but when exposed to black light, they exhibit a light green glow. The embryo of the mother rabbit was injected with a fluorescent protein found in jellyfish DNA, which leads to the glow among the bunnies.  

When the rabbit gave birth, two out of the eight rabbits had the glowing gene in them. The glow of these rabbits was much greater than the formerly born bunnies.

"They live just as long as normal animals do. In mice, I can tell you that from mice, and they show no ill effects," Moisyadi explained. "The green is only a marker to show that's it's working easily."

The experiment aimed at showing the effectiveness of genetic changes being made in the bunnies following the UH method. The researchers aim at inserting a gene in the female rabbits and then accumulate the protein generated in their milk. This method would be a new, cheap way to create pharmaceuticals.

"Sheep, cows, and even pigs," Moisyadi stated. "The benefits in doing it in large animals is to create bio-reactors that basically produce pharmaceuticals that can be made a lot cheaper."

The Turkey-UH team have tried producing transgenic sheep using this technique. The Institute for Biogenesis Research (IBR) at the UH had joined hands with China to produce transgenic pigs. The scientists aim at producing larger animals using this technique and this research would help them find cure to severe illnesses caused by genetic factors.

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